Presidents Message – December 2001

Posted On December 1, 2001

What's the difference between the Clubs Kuhn Telescope and a Meade LX200?

Not a lot actually! But our Kuhn Telescope is a LOT quieter.

As of a few weeks ago work was completed on a new upgrade to the Clubs 22.5" Kuhn Telescope. This upgrade allows the telescope to be controlled by any software which would ordinarily be used to control a Meade LX200 telescope. Many club members who have automated goto telescopes such as those from Meade will be aware that it is possible to run a wide variety of programs to control the telescope from their computer.

This capability has now been developed for our own telescope.

OCA Member John Hoot has spent the past month developing and perfecting the system that allows the telescope to act as if it were a Meade LX200 as far as programs such as The Sky, Skymap pro and many others.

John is very well qualified to develop such a capability. He has written all the telescope control software for the Meade ETX range of Autostar controllers along with the more recent revolutionary Meade GPS system.

Star Member trainer Chuck Lodoza and myself checked out the new system on the Tuesday prior to the first Star Party in November (10th). We wanted to make sure that all was well with the setup and that other Star Members would be able to use the new capability with very minimal training.

I was luckily the first person to use the system in public on the November 10th Star Party. Everything worked perfectly. In order to get the Kuhn to goto any object you simply use The Sky software, installed on a brand new computer in the observatory, to point at objects and click "Slew-to". The Kuhn now obediently moves to the object selected. All night the telescope moved accurately and effortlessly to every object I selected. This really was a testament to the programming skills of John Hoot.

I see the Kuhn Telescope and our Anza site as one of the clubs most prized assets. It was developed through the generous gifts of time and money from many OCA members and corporations in years gone by. John Hoots contribution is one which will be remembered in perpetuity by all of us in the club who will benefit from his efforts.

Thank you John!

Liam Kennedy
"every day we are connecting ever more photons of light from distant galaxies to the eyes, hearts, minds and imaginations of our members and others in our community."